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Hi Guys,

I little while back I swapped barrels from a 280 which was cooked from the factory to a new 280ai. I haven't regretted the decision and really like the cartridge.

I have some empty 280 brass and 140 grain bullets lying around. Can someone please suggest a light load to use for fireforming as the brass is too good (Norma) to just toss in the bin.

I have Varget, H4350, H4831sc, H1000, Rl19, RL22 and ar2206 (Not sure what this is branded in the States)

Thanks in advance


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Use starting loads listed for the 140 s.


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I don't have any experience fireforming with any of the powders you listed. They all seem too slow-burning to be ideal. Too bad you don't have some IMR 4895 or it's equivalent.

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10 grains of any pistol powder
Fill the rest of the case with cream of wheat.
Fire straight up.

If you can't fire straight up at some uppity range, seal the cream of wheat in the case with solid Ivory soap. Then fire horizontally.


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Put any soap or wax as a top seal over cream of wheat and you may not like the results. I posted the response below before and a few folks who tried it seemed to like the results so I’ll throw it up again if it may be of value to you:

Having fire formed plenty of AI brass, the one thing I don't do these days is use paraffin wax as a top plug with the COW method - I found that I was getting build up of partially cooked COW and paraffin in the lug races and every little crevice inside the receiver ring that was difficult to see and remove - and you can’t reach it all. The more the rifle was subsequently shot the more it 'cooked'. It came to a head so to speak with 30-06AI that I thought I had cleaned very well having only ever formed about 50 cases (with paraffin) over the life time of the rifle. I just happened to see it when viewing my chamber with a borescope and decided to pull the barrel; let’s just say the build-up was pretty f’ing ugly inside the receiver ring.

My rule of thumb method I use now works for me for everything from 250 Sav AI up to the 06 varieties: fill the case with UNIQUE powder - whatever number that is, take 1/3 of that amount plus 1-2 grains for short action cases - for the long action cases, take 1/3 of the case capacity + 2-4 grains - top that with a small plug of tissue or toilet paper that you have to twist to compress enough to get down through the neck - push it down all the way through and give it a minute to expand and fill the width of the case - this prevents the COW from settling down into the powder charge - now fill the case to the bottom of the neck with COW and top that with another plug of tissue, but for this use just enough that when rolled tight it's about 1/2" long and will just fit in the neck yet leave about 1/4" exposed. The paper will expand and form a light "stopper" to hold your COW in. I single load each one in the chamber and make sure I keep it pointed up when firing.

This has served me well with the least amount of residue remaining when done. If you have a current "recipe" utilizing paraffin and want to convert to tissue paper plugs instead, be advised that it will take more powder to achieve the same results with the toilet paper plugs as you did with paraffin because the paraffin seal resistance build up more chamber pressure that the tissue paper plug by itself - so experiment a little until you get what suits you. YMMV


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Don't use light loads. First, make sure there is some interference when you close the bolt. If there is not, you should neck up to 30 then neck back down to 280 with the die backed out to provide interference at the shoulder/neck juncture. Load the 140's on top of a near-max load of Varget then spend some time at the range. There is little point in wasting a primer and powder building blanks; unless you just want to make noise. My preference is to fire every shot with the intent of hitting something. GD

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I use top 280 loads. They shoot accurately and work well for hunting albeit slightly less velocity than if shot in a 280. I know a fellow shooter that pushes the loads past full 280 and he does well with that.


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Did YOU swap barrels, or did a smith? If a smith did the job, he should have set the Improved head space so there is a slight crush fit with virgin 280 brass when you close the bolt. No need to neck up/down, and really no need to use the COW process, just load a full power 280 charge with the 140 grn. and shoot it. Cases will come out perfectly formed.

I`ve a number of "Improved" cartridges/rifles. Have not had any problems with the above procedure.

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Originally Posted by LowBC
Hi Guys,

I little while back I swapped barrels from a 280 which was cooked from the factory to a new 280ai. I haven't regretted the decision and really like the cartridge.

I have some empty 280 brass and 140 grain bullets lying around. Can someone please suggest a light load to use for fireforming as the brass is too good (Norma) to just toss in the bin.

I have Varget, H4350, H4831sc, H1000, Rl19, RL22 and ar2206 (Not sure what this is branded in the States)

Thanks in advance

Is this brass new?


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Originally Posted by greydog
Don't use light loads. First, make sure there is some interference when you close the bolt. If there is not, you should neck up to 30 then neck back down to 280 with the die backed out to provide interference at the shoulder/neck juncture. GD

Greydog is correct....you don't want a light load. I can't tell you how many times I have had to fire form a case twice because I under loaded it.

When I tried the neck up/down method, the necks ended up short after fire forming. I found it was better to just load the bullets long, pressed into the lands to get the case head back tight against the bolt face, and fire it.

Tony

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Used this method for 243 >AI,280>AI, 300 H&H > 300 Weatherby.

Perfect results and no barrel wear.

https://gundigest.com/gear-ammo/reloading/the-ins-and-outs-of-fireforming-cases


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Originally Posted by CGPAUL
Did YOU swap barrels, or did a smith? If a smith did the job, he should have set the Improved head space so there is a slight crush fit with virgin 280 brass when you close the bolt. No need to neck up/down, and really no need to use the COW process, just load a full power 280 charge with the 140 grn. and shoot it. Cases will come out perfectly formed.

I`ve a number of "Improved" cartridges/rifles. Have not had any problems with the above procedure.

THIS--but only if it is new brass. Fired brass tends to lose the crush-fit "curve" at the neck/shoulder juncture, so may or may not go bang.

There's no reason to spend time, powder and primers using the COW method on a big game rifle: Just load maximum .280 charges for the bullet and go to the range--or even hunting. (That said, I have used the COW method considerably when forming is more complex, as when both necking down and blowing out brass. But I do NOT use paraffin, for the reasons already suggested by others. Instead I just stuff a bit of crumpled paper towel in the case neck and fire-form with the rifle held muzzle-up. This is quiet enough to do this in my garage, and none of the neighbors has complained yet.)


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Don’t waste good bullets! I fireformed my 280 AI for years, but now use Nosler.

As others have said, point the barrel straight up. I use ~ 12-15 grains of bullseye pistol powder. Instead of cream of wheat, I use a quarter square of toilet paper tamped down hard with whatever will fit down in the case neck. The tp will hold the powder in position just fine.

Word of caution: Bullseye will heat up the barrel fast. I FF about five rounds and give the barrel a rest, or pour cool water down the bore to help. I just don’t like the idea of frying my barrel with twenty straight shots, but that’s just me. I could be wrong about frying it, but elect to be cautious.

It’s worked for me since about 1990.


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Originally Posted by Godogs57
Don’t waste good bullets! I fireformed my 280 AI for years, but now use Nosler.

As others have said, point the barrel straight up. I use ~ 12-15 grains of bullseye pistol powder. Instead of cream of wheat, I use a quarter square of toilet paper tamped down hard with whatever will fit down in the case neck. The tp will hold the powder in position just fine.

Word of caution: Bullseye will heat up the barrel fast. I FF about five rounds and give the barrel a rest, or pour cool water down the bore to help. I just don’t like the idea of frying my barrel with twenty straight shots, but that’s just me. I could be wrong about frying it, but elect to be cautious.

It’s worked for me since about 1990.

I don't see how fire-forming with maximum standard .280 Remington loads, and bullets you plan to hunt with, "wastes" those bullets. Instead, I have found that many improved rounds shoot very well with "standard" loads and "unimproved" brass right from the get-go, which doesn't "waste" any more bullets than standard load work-up. You're also gaining info AND fire-forming brass during each range session.

I also have generally used Nosler .280 AI brass--or Norma brass, since they were making it for Nosler when the .280 AI was first accepted by SAAMI. But must I sold my last .280 AI a few years ago, partly because I could never see any real difference between it and various similar cartridges in the field, and the others didn't involve fire-forming, or trying to find more expensive brass, especially during the periodic shortages that keep occurring.

But whatever....


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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
Originally Posted by Godogs57
Don’t waste good bullets! I fireformed my 280 AI for years, but now use Nosler.

As others have said, point the barrel straight up. I use ~ 12-15 grains of bullseye pistol powder. Instead of cream of wheat, I use a quarter square of toilet paper tamped down hard with whatever will fit down in the case neck. The tp will hold the powder in position just fine.

Word of caution: Bullseye will heat up the barrel fast. I FF about five rounds and give the barrel a rest, or pour cool water down the bore to help. I just don’t like the idea of frying my barrel with twenty straight shots, but that’s just me. I could be wrong about frying it, but elect to be cautious.

It’s worked for me since about 1990.

I don't see how fire-forming with maximum standard .280 Remington loads, and bullets you plan to hunt with, "wastes" those bullets. Instead, I have found that many improved rounds shoot very well with "standard" loads and "unimproved" brass right from the get-go, which doesn't "waste" any more bullets than standard load work-up. You're also gaining info AND fire-forming brass during each range session.

I also have generally used Nosler .280 AI brass--or Norma brass, since they were making it for Nosler when the .280 AI was first accepted by SAAMI. But must I sold my last .280 AI a few years ago, partly because I could never see any real difference between it and various similar cartridges in the field, and the others didn't involve fire-forming, or trying to find more expensive brass, especially during the periodic shortages that keep occurring.

But whatever....

My comments were directed at our current shortage of components, perceived or otherwise. Fireforming from loaded 280 REM ammo is obviously an option, yes. Funny thing I’ve noticed in both of my 280 AI’s is that some of my smallest groups ever have come from those fireforming sessions shooting factory 280’s. Why? No idea…


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My 250 AI`s have done the same...

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Godogs,

One of the biggest current component shortages is primers--which has tended to occur ever since the 1990s, after the Clinton "assault rifle ban" was passed. Primers were almost unobtainable for a year or so, partly because of the rumor going around that all new primers were designed to "go dud" within six months. Which is why some people were putting primers inside PVC pipe, and burying them in their yards.

Which is one among several reasons I just started working up loads for "improved" rounds years ago, unless there was a good reason to use a bullet-less fire-forming method. I'd rather use primers for actual shooting than pre-forming brass--and then going to the range and burning up more primers when working up loads.

In fact I've fire-formed a lot of standard brass into "improved" cases when shooting varmints, in cartridges from the .22 K-Hornet to various Ackley Improved rounds.


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Thanks guys for your thoughts, much appreciated. My original 280 loads shoot beautifully in the ai. Again, thanks for your help.


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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
Godogs,

One of the biggest current component shortages is primers--which has tended to occur ever since the 1990s, after the Clinton "assault rifle ban" was passed. Primers were almost unobtainable for a year or so, partly because of the rumor going around that all new primers were designed to "go dud" within six months. Which is why some people were putting primers inside PVC pipe, and burying them in their yards.

Which is one among several reasons I just started working up loads for "improved" rounds years ago, unless there was a good reason to use a bullet-less fire-forming method. I'd rather use primers for actual shooting than pre-forming brass--and then going to the range and burning up more primers when working up loads.

In fact I've fire-formed a lot of standard brass into "improved" cases when shooting varmints, in cartridges from the .22 K-Hornet to various Ackley Improved rounds.

Think we’ll ever see primers available in decent quantities again? Powders are slowly reappearing it seems (excepting RL’s), yes, some bullets too. But primers? Good Lord…nothing.


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One thing I've heard through the gun-business grapevine is that at least two of the major ammo companies that also offer primers are making primers for the U.S. military.

But other than that, yes, I believe we'll see primers available a reasonable prices again--because that's happened before, after every one of the previous shortages going back to the 1990s, once most handloaders buy enough to feel comfortable. Like the previous shortages, this one has mostly been caused by panic buying, not a lack of production.


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